• Leanne Harpur

Self-care during the corona virus

You will have heard me talking about how important it is to have a self-care routine a lot in the past – well although you might not be able to include your regular massage appointment in your routine at the moment, you can still find ways to take care of yourself in these difficult weeks and months, so that when you come out the other side of quarantine – and you will – you won’t be completely depleted.

Create A Self-Care Toolkit

Whatever goes into your toolkit will be personal to you, so create something that makes YOU feel nurtured. Some of the most successful self-care strategies are built around the seven senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, movement and proprioceptive (comforting pressure). Here’s an idea for each of those to get you started: a soft toy or comforting soft blanket, your favourite hot chocolate, some photos of your favourite people and places, a feel-good soundtrack on Apple music or Spotify (or any other music provider), aromatherapy essential oils like lavender, a rocking chair, and a weighted blanket.

Distract yourself with writing in a gorgeous journal, read an inspirational book, or color in a mandala coloring book. Play bubbles with the kids or teach them to blow watercolor paintings with a straw. Help them create their own comfort boxes (find a storage box or even an old shoe box they can decorate) and encourage them to open their boxes if they are feeling overwhelmed.

Stay Hydrated and Well Nourished

We’ve all seen the Facebook memes about wine and overeating – and it’s true that stress-related eating and drinking are a ‘thing’. Sadly, for our health, stress and eating don’t partner well. In times of anxiety, we tend over-indulge in foods (or alcoholic drinks) that don’t do our bodies any good or find that we can’t eat at all because we are too stressed out. Try to stick to your usual eating times and meals if that’s possible, to maintain some sense of normality. Drink lots of water, and if you can, why not attempt that recipe from your favourite cookbook that you’ve always wanted to try?

Find A Routine and Stick to It

This ties in with the last point; eat as regularly and normally as you can. Maintain a sleep routine, don’t get into the habit of going to bed late and getting out of bed late if that’s not what you would usually do. Do your laundry and housework at the same times and on the same days as normal. Sticking to your old routine as much as you can helps keep you in balance; make sure that you schedule in self-care activities, too.

Dress for the Life You Want, Not the Life You Have

OK, this doesn’t mean ordering that super-expensive dress online and walking around the house in a tiara. But don’t sit around in your PJs all day just because you aren’t going out to work. Get showered when you get up and wear comfortable clothes. Do everything you would usually do on a workday or if you were going out of the house. Have a bath or a facial treatment at home. All of these will make life feel less alien and have an impact on your daily mood.

Get Outside Every Day

Obviously following the rules in your area – but take your allotted outside-time and use it well. If you are concerned about virus transmission, opt for early morning or late evening outings, and take quieter routes. People at risk should of course avoid leaving the house as much as possible but can still open the windows wide and get some fresh air and sunshine. It is amazing how much feeling the fresh air on your skin can do to improve your spirits.

Make Time to Move

You don’t have to go out of the house to exercise, the crisis has made us aware of so many indoor fitness options. Try following a YouTube video and enjoy a free movement class or just turn on the music and dance around the room until you break a sweat.

Look after yourself – and stay well.

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